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Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits album review

Zack Wylde’s tenth album of metal, country and blues

Cover art for Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits album

You’d be mistaken for thinking Zakk Wylde had taken a moment for quiet contemplation with what might pass for another best-of collection, but Grimmest Hits is another new release from the prolific singer, solo artist and Ozzy guitarist. He also spends his summers as frontman of the excellent Zakk Sabbath – we’ll let you guess what their source material is.

There are occasional Sabbath notes here too. Seasons Of Falter opens like it might have appeared on Vol 4, before segueing into a woozy Alice In Chains motif. The Betrayal also has the Iommi ring to it, and an Ozzy-like vocal line, but with a guitar tone like Wylde’s, it’s sometimes hard to see past his influences.

That said, his love of country music is self-evident in the magical The Only Words. Which is not to deny BLS their own identity – their marriage of music styles is easy to take for granted, but hard to overlook.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.